Last week had it all with red cards, video reviews, late drama and so much more so it will be well worth watching to see what Round 9 of the A-League has to offer.
Every game in Round 8 was decided by a two or more goal margin with a clear gap emerging between the top of the ladder and the chasing pack.
Melbourne City are in danger of sliding out of premiership contention after their hot start and will face a stern test against Newcastle in the feature game of the round.
Adelaide United Vs Sydney FC
Friday 1 December, 7:50pm, Coopers Stadium
Sydney will have enjoyed six days off after closing out a very busy week against Brisbane last week.
Despite never really getting out of second gear in attack they were disciplined and resolute in defence, denying the Roar any decent chances until the game was in hand.
Adelaide have been rather wasteful in front of goal so far this season, with an underwhelming eight goals scored and just thirty shots on target.
Sydney should be able to suffocate the Adelaide attack and generate enough chances themselves to win away from home.
Back Sydney FC to Win @ $2.05
Western Sydney Wanderers Vs Brisbane Roar
Saturday 2 December, 5:35pm, ANZ Stadium
It will be all hands on deck for the Roar as they travel to Sydney for their second straight match in Sydney, this time against the Wanderers.
With a severely depleted stock of central defenders it is going to be a makeshift group of players at the back and that may lead into a game with plenty of goals.
Western Sydney will also be without Robbie Cornthwaite who picked up a red card against Adelaide depleting their defensive depth as well.
This is a game that looks like it will have plenty of goals in it as both sides try to get back in the winners’ circle.
Back Over 3.5 Goals @ $2.65
Newcastle Jets Vs Melbourne City
Saturday 2 December, 7:50pm, McDonald Jones Stadium
Dimitri Petratos is enjoying the best form of his career and is helping the Jets to get to second spot on the ladder.
The Jets were excellent in their demolition of Melbourne Victory last week and with their entire team contributing in attack, it will be a big ask for Melbourne City who enter this game without the suspended Osama Malik.
Captain Mikael Jakobsen will have to be redeployed to cover for that absence but with the behind the scenes turmoil being reported on it is hard to see this game being anything other than a Jets win.
Back the Newcastle Jets to Win @ $2.25
Wellington Phoenix Vs Melbourne Victory
Sunday 3 December, 2:30pm, Westpac Stadium
Neither side will be overly confident having been on the receiving end of heavy defeats last weekend.
Discipline has been a major issue for the Victory and it will be the reason they are without their skipper.
It is hard to see the Phoenix being able to capitalise on that absence however as they are struggling with just one win in their last six games as well.
The Victory will be very eager to pepper the Phoenix goal with as many shots as possible and it will be a good way to boost their confidence with a comfortable win.
Back Melbourne Victory to Win @ $2.20
Central Coast Mariners Vs Perth Glory
Sunday 3 December, 5:00pm, Central Coast Stadium
Losers of three out of their last five games plus a history of poor performances when travelling to the East Coast has Perth set up for a long afternoon in Gosford.
After a comfortable victory in New Zealand the Mariners are finally starting to look settled under Paul Okon with Daniel De Silva starting to show flashes that justify his reputation as one of Australia’s most exciting young prospects.
He should be able to pick apart a Perth backline that is in shambles and win a high scoring game.
Back Central Coast Mariners to Win @ $2.20
There was plenty of spite when Melbourne City and the Brisbane Roar did battle at Suncorp Stadium earlier this season and they will renew acquaintances in the match of the weekend on Saturday night.
The Newcastle Jets will be keen to knock off Sydney FC in front of their home fans on Sunday afternoon before the round concludes when Adelaide United face the Wellington Phoenix.
There is genuine betting interest in every single game in the A-League this weekend and you can find our recommended plays below.
Melbourne Victory Vs Perth Glory
Friday 2 December, 6:50pm, AAMI Park
The Melbourne Victory have won two games on the trot and they will go into this clash with the Perth Glory as clear favourites.
Melbourne have played some solid football in recent weeks, but they are still tough to trust from a betting standpoint – they have won only five of their past 11 games as home favourites for a clear loss.
Perth looked to be heading in the right direction, but they produced their worst performance of the season to suffer at shock loss at the hands of the Perth Glory last Thursday night.
The Glory have still proven to be a strong betting team over the past 12 months.
They have won four of their past 11 games as away underdogs for a clear profit and the $4.50 on offer for them to return to winning form is definitely over the odds.
Back Perth Glory To Win @ $4.50
Central Coast Mariners Vs Western Sydney Wanderers
Saturday 3 December, 4:35pm, Central Coast Stadium
The Central Coast Mariners finally returned to winning form in front of their home fans, but they will still go into this clash with the Western Sydney Wanderers as clear underdogs.
Central Coast continue to take big steps forward in 2016 and their performance against the Perth Glory was easily their best of the season to date.
In saying that, they have still won only two of their past 11 games as home underdogs and they remain a work in progress.
Western Sydney have not won a game for six weeks and they played out there fifth draw from their past six games when they faced Brisbane last Friday night.
The Wanderers have won three of their past six games as away favourites for a narrow loss and it is tough to have any confidence in their recent performances.
This is a game that the market looks to have got just about right and I am more than happy to stay out from a betting perspective.
Melbourne City Vs Brisbane Roar
Saturday 3 December, 6:50pm, AAMI Park
Melbourne City will be on the quick back-up following the FFA Cup Final with Sydney FC on Wednesday.
Melbourne City have not lost since they went down to the Brisbane Roar at the start of the month and they will go into this clash as clear favourites.
They continue to be extremely tough to beat in front of their home fans at AAMI Park and they have now won ten of their past 12 games as home favourites for a clear profit.
Winning away from home continues to be a problem for the Roar and they have won just one of their past eight games as away underdogs, while three of these games have finished as stalemates.
Backing Melbourne City at home continues to be a winning formula and there is no reason to divert from that this weekend.
Back Melbourne City To Win @ $1.95
Newcastle Jets Vs Sydney FC
Sunday 4 December, 4:00pm, Hunter Stadium
Sydney FC will also be on the quick back-up from the FFA Cup Final and will go into this clash with the Newcastle Jets as clear favourites.
Sydney FC remain unbeaten in the A-League this season, but they produced arguably their worst performance of the season to date against Adelaide United last weekend.
They have won their past six games against the Newcastle Jets, but their record as away favourites is a fairly lacklustre 3-3.
Newcastle have taken a step backwards following their strong start to the season and they have now lost four of their past five games.
The Jets do generally save their best performances for their home fans and they have won three of their past 10 games as home underdogs for a clear profit.
Sydney FC are deserving favourites, but there is no value at their current price and I am willing to take a gamble on the Jets.
Back Newcastle To Win @ $4.33
Adelaide United Vs Wellington Phoenix
Sunday 4 December, 6:00pm, Coopers Stadium
Adelaide United are still chasing their first win of the A-League season, but they will go into this clash with the Wellington Phoenix as clear favourites.
Adelaide continue to struggle in front of goal, but they are sure to take plenty of confidence from the fact that they were able to keep an in-form Sydney FC outfit scoreless.
They have won nine of their past 15 games as home favourites and they continue to be a winning betting proposition in this scenario.
Wellington were gallant in defeat against Melbourne City and there is no doubt that they have played some better football in the past month.
The Phoenix have actually proven to be a profitable side as away underdogs, but they have still only won three of their past 11 games in this scenario.
Both these teams are tough to trust from a betting perspective and I am more than happy to stay out of this clash from a betting standpoint.